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Christ called the Son of David


Extract from sermon vii of a series of xxvii sermons by Samuel Rutherford on the Syro-phenician woman who came to Christ for the healing of her daughter (Matthew 15, Mark 7)  

Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600-1661) was the faithful pastor of Anwoth who suffered greatly during the “Killing Time” in Scotland, being persecuted and imprisoned for his adherence to the doctrine of his dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. A Presbyterian who refused to countenance Prelacy (Episcopalianism), his preaching exalted Christ alone as Lord and King. Mr Rutherford was Professor of Divinity at St Andrews and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.


Son of David; “O Lord, thou Son of David!” In this compellation, consider why Christ is called the Son of David, never the son of Adam, never the son of Abraham. It is true he is called frequently the Son of man; but never when any prayeth to him: and he is reckoned, in his genealogy, David’s son, Abraham’s son, the Son of Adam; but the Son of David is his ordinary style, when prayers are directed to him in the days of his flesh. The reasons are 1st, Christ had a special relation to Abraham, being his seed; but more special to David, because the covenant was in a special manner established with David, as a king, and the first king in whose hand the Church, the feeding thereof as God’s own flock, was, as God’s deposit and pawn laid down. The Lord established the Covenant of Grace with David, and his son Solomon, who was to build him an house; and promised to him an eternal kingdom, and grace, and perseverance in grace, and that by a sure covenant, “the sure mercies of David.” (Isa., lv, 3; 2 Sam., vii, 8-16; 1 Chron., xxii, 9, 10; 2 Sam., xxiii, 5.) “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure, for [this is] all my salvation and all my desire. “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant.” (Ps. lxxxix, 3, 4.) “Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” (Ver. 21-37.) Gabriel the angel speaketh the same to Zacharias. (Luke, I, 32, 33; so, v, 68, 69; Acts, xiii, 34-37; and ii, 30.) Now, it was necessary, that Christ the Messiah should lineally descend of a king; Abraham was not a king; Adam was not formally a king by covenant, as David was. 2nd, Christ changeth names with David, as he never did with any man. Christ is never called Abraham; but, “David my servant shall be a prince among them.” (Exek., xxxiv, 23, 24.) “They shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king.” (Hos., iii, 5.) 3rd, David entered to a typical throne against the heart of Jew and Gentile, (Psalm ii, 1, 2,) and so did Christ, (Acts, iv, 25, 26;) and did feed the people of God in the midst of many enemies; (Psalm cx, 1, 2;) and so did Christ. (Acts, ii, 34-36.) Not so Abraham; he was a befriended man in a strange land.



“The Trial and Triumph of Faith,” published by The Banner of Truth Trust, 2001. pp 73-74.